Do you want to save money when doing your washing? Then it's time to get wise to 'greener' laundry days.
Washing clothes can be an expensive task - what with school uniforms, work gear and endless piles of towels and smalls filling the basket.
Your washing machine roughly accounts for 7% of your energy bill, according to comparison site uSwitch. You therefore stand to save a significant amount of money by becoming more energy-efficient when washing and drying your wardrobe.
Read on for tips on energy-efficient washing, and the features to look out for when buying a new machine.
Reduce energy when using your washing machine
Keep it short and sweet
It's not always necessary to run a long cycle. Choose the shortest programme when washing lightly soiled items.
Go for 30°C cycle
Washing clothes at 30°C uses up to 40% less energy than washing at higher temperatures and ideal for lightly soiled loads. Note: It's best to use higher temperatures (above 40°C) for towels, bed linen and underwear.
Wait for a full load
Two half-loads use more energy than a single full load, so always wait for a full load otherwise you'll be wasting water and literally throwing money down the drain.
Pre-soak really dirty clothing
Having to repeat a wash because the stains didn't come out the first time is both annoying and expensive. It's therefore a good idea to pre-soak really dirty clothing beforehand.
Choose an energy efficient washing machine
The washing machines in our range are rated A to A+++ for energy rating. The most efficient wil have features such as timer delays, variable temperature controls, water sensors and half load and short programme options.
Energy efficiency: We love the Bosch WAQ243
We handed the Bosch WAQ243 our hallowed Our Experts Love tag for its energy efficient features: It saves water by using the precise amount of water needed per load, and can handle your wash up to 65% faster. It can also reduce its energy consumption by 50%. You can also set your washing to begin when you've gone to bed, to take advantage of cheaper power.
Reduce energy when using your tumble dryer
The more you wash the more you have to dry, so it pays to go green when drying as well. Of course, the number one tip is to dry your laundry outside on the line when weather allows.
Clean the filters
Making sure the filters are free from fluff will allow your dryer to operate more efficiently, so do this before or after every use. A blocked filter hinders air circulation.
Choose the auto-dry cycle
Using an auto-dry cycle - if you have a condenser dryer with sensor drying feature - rather than a timed cycle means you won't use more energy than necessary to dry your clothes.
Consider what goes in
Not everything in a washing load will be suitable for or need to go into the tumble dryer. Take 5 minutes to sort what does and doesn't need to go in. Untangle everything when you take it out of your washing machine before putting it in your dryer - tangled wet washing takes longer to dry.
Do it all in one go
A second load can take advantage of the heat that has already built up in the dryer. If you have another basket of washing to dry, put it in straight after the first load instead of waiting 'til later in the day.
Use eco laundry balls
using these rubber eco balls in your tumble dryer are said to reduce drying time and soften your clothes.
Choose an energy-efficient tumble dryer
The most energy efficient tumble dryers in our range have a rating of A+++. Energy saving features include larger capacity drums, drying sensors and timer delays. Heat pump models are considered to be more energy efficient than condenser or vented types of dryer.
Energy efficiency: We love the Beko EcoSmart DSC85W
The Beko EcoSmart DSC85W has the stamp of approval from the Energy Saving Trust. There's no wonder we handed it an Our Experts Love tag. It automatically detects how long your clothes need to dry, and has room for 22 hand towels, or 8 pairs of trousers, 8 tops and piles of underwear and socks in a single load.
Key energy saving features:
Buying a new washing machine or tumble dryer is one of the best ways of reducing the amount of energy you use, especially if you haven't upgraded for a number of years.
While it may seem like a big investment now, the savings in the long-term will make the initial outlay worthwhile.
Here are some features to look out for when purchasing a new washing machine:
All machines are now rated A, A+, A++ or A+++ (the latter is the most energy-efficient) so keep a look out for these. Look out for machines carrying the Energy Saving Trust Recommended logo for a sure sign of an energy-efficient appliance.
Full-load / quick-wash program
Quick-wash programs do exactly what the name suggests. Machines with a full-load quick option, as opposed to just 1.5kg, are the best.
Buy a washing machine with an extra large capacity (10+kg) or large drying capacity tumble dryer (8kg) if you're going to be washing or drying large loads - for example, if you have a large family. Take at a look at our capacity guide to find out exactly what size you need.
A timer delay option lets you do your washing or drying overnight when power is cheaper. Simply switch on your washing machine or tumble dryer before you go to bed.
Consider brands with 'green' tech
Both Samsung and Hotpoint have included branded green technology in their washing machine ranges. Samsung has Ecobubble, which it says makes a 15°C wash as effective as a 40°C. Hotpoint's Smart Technology meanwhile is designed to optimise water and energy consumption to load size and type of fabric you're washing. Look out for heat pump tumble dryers - these are generally more expensive than other models but are said to use up to 40% less energy.
Share this article
Related in Washing machines & cleaning